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[video] Cambodia's Orphan Business

Author: People & Power, Al Jazeera, Published on: 24 June 2012

Keen to help this war-torn country, increasing numbers of tourists are now also working as volunteers. Most come with the very best of intentions - to work in schools and orphanages, filling a gap left by a lack of development funding...Tour operators routinely assure such groups that they are bringing happiness to Cambodia. Sadly there appears to be little awareness of the psychological damage being done to children forced to form an endless series of new relationships with strangers - many of whom seem to get as much from the affection the 'orphans' are encouraged to display as the children do from the volunteers...[S]tories have emerged that Cambodian children are being exploited by some of the companies organising the volunteers or running the orphanages...Following serious complaints from volunteers who had been placed at CUCO [orphanage] by...Projects Abroad and others, SISHA [NGO] requested a series of government inspections. The orphanage failed them all. [includes response by Projects Abroad]

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